An estimated 5 million customers along the upper Texas Gulf Coast lost power as a resuit of Hurricane Ike. Only about 5% of those have been restored as I write this post. Current estimates are that it will be 2-3 weeks before even most of those customers will have their power restored.
To give you an idea of the enormity of this damage, the last hurricane to make a direct hit on the Houston metro area — Hurricane Alicia in 1983 — left 750,000 customers without power. Two-thirds of those customers had their power restored within five days, and it took between 2-4 weeks to restore the rest.
Although The Woodlands (where my family lives, 30 miles north of downtown Houston) did not suffer catastrophic damage from Ike, the part of the grid from which it receives power did. Entergy, the power company here, estimates that it will be between 2-3 weeks before The Woodlands power is restored. No one in The Woodlands currently has any power (I am writing this from my battery-powered laptop with an air card).
With that backdrop, i was curious to discover this notice from the local public school system:
Conroe Independent School District announced schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday and the Tuesday board meeting is cancelled. Residents are asked to check the Web site or call after 4 p.m. Monday for updates on the rest of the week.
Uh, one question there, school district: how are residents with no power supposed to check a Web site for updates?
Better re-think that approach, folks.